While Indian consumers buy and watch pirated DVDs and VCDs which cost less than a legal copy they might not be aware that the proceeds from the sale of pirated copies go towards funding antisocial activities like terrorism.
The Video Federation of India (VFI) is going to launch a consumer awareness campaign. The aim is to get across the message that the next time one buys pirated DVDs of movies from the nearest railway station, one would have made one contribution to fund acts of terror like 7/11.
VFI spokesperson and Excel Home Videos MD MN Kapasi says, “The huge piracy racket that finds its base in Pakistan is a multi-crore money spinner for the underworld and their allied terror activists. The money is used to fund their terror activities and other anti social commitments”.
VFI is putting together a consumer awarness campaign. The first phase will involve print inserts and ads. They will also use messages on DVDs and VCDs. After that spots will air on television channels. VFI is looking to rope in a celebrity for this purpose.
VFI notes that findings on the link between piracy and anti social activities like terrorism have been exposed time and again by various news media (newspapers and television channels alike), However this hasn’t evoked any stringent measures from the administration. The VFI has made representations to the top brass of the police force and various forums regarding the menace, only to get a lukewarm response.
Motion Picture Association (MPA) India head and senior partner in the law firm of Lall and Sethi Advocates Chander Lall says, “There is now documented evidence that film piracy funds organized crime. The profit percentages are so high that organised crime considers film piracy more lucrative than even drug peddling. It is about time that enforcement agencies recognise this fact and crack down on these terror shops”
Kapasi adds, “We had to take these concerns directly to the consumer, and make them realize that their contribution is supporting the cause of terror in a very big way. We are using other modes like raids to curb piracy. In March and April alone, together with MPA we conducted over 25 raids in Delhi and Mumbai.”
The association having representation from various VCD/DVD manufactures and home entertainment companies will be communicating these messages through their products and through other media. These messages VFI expects will go a long way in countering public apathy.